We write to the King

Photo by Ferdinand Stöhr on Unsplash

Green Christian has written to His Majesty King Charles urging him to speak truthfully at COP28. Here’s what we said:

His Majesty the King
Buckingham Palace
London SW1A 1AA


I am writing in my capacity as Co-Chair of the national UK charity Green Christian (established 1982), regarding the address you are due to give at the opening of the COP28 climate summit.

I am a committed Christian and the parent of three adult children, aged between 22 and 31. As an environmentalist for the past 35 years, I have watched with dismay as the world has consistently ignored the solemn warnings given not only by climate scientists but also our planet as it heats up due to the burning of fossil fuels. In 2023, an exceptional and unprecedented year of climate-related disasters and associated events, we now see the beginnings of the consequences of this wilful turning away from the science of climate change, which was first worked out in the 1880s by the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Svante Arrhenius, nearly 150 years ago. Many young people around the world have decided they do not want to bring children into the increasing turbulence of a 1.5C, 2C or even hotter world. I can’t say I blame them, and I fear for a future which is unliveable and which will cause untold suffering.

I know that you are deeply aware of all the issues, and have been one of the few voices consistently over the decades urging and encouraging humanity to care for this beautiful planet, the only home we have. I know too that you are a person of deep faith and compassion, working for a better world for all, so I am writing to you today, along with many others, using some words supplied by Extinction Rebellion, below.

Since Extinction Rebellion was formed five years ago, we have been consistent in our demands:

  1. Tell the truth – All institutions must communicate the danger we are in. We must be clear about the extreme cascading risks humanity now faces, the injustice this represents, its historic roots, and the urgent need for rapid political, social and economic change.
  2. Act now – Every part of society must act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and begin protecting and repairing nature immediately. The whole of society must move into a new precautionary paradigm, where life is sacred and all are in service to ensuring its future.
  3. Decide Together – We demand a culture of participation, fairness and transparency. The Government must create and be led by a Citizens’ Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice. Only the common sense of ordinary people will help us navigate the challenging decisions ahead.

You will know that at the Paris Agreement in 2015, nations agreed to hold global warming to within 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures and to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Global temperatures this year show we have breached 1.5C.** Net zero by 2050 is decades too late. Net zero itself is not enough. We need zero emissions now to halt dramatic global temperature rises and the catastrophe this will unleash on life on earth. Scientists agree that the greatest contributor to the climate crisis is burning fossil fuels. You will also know that, despite this, governments, the fossil fuel industry, and those who fund them continue to make decisions that are not consistent with the immediate need to stop burning fossil fuels. In Britain, the government’s decision to issue hundreds of new licences to drill for oil and gas in the North Sea is a clear example of this. With political and financial interests so wedded to fossil fuel production, objective and correct decisions are not and will not be made.

**The world just touched 2C in the past week (which is probably a temporary spike, but alarming nonetheless). 

There are also issues of climate justice, and a just transition to alternative energy sources, which includes appropriate financing from wealthier countries to poorer, as well as an equal seat at the negotiating table.

I believe these issues are all close to your heart. They are more urgent and relevant as each day passes, and as each new climate disaster occurs, reported on – or not reported on – around the world. 

Sir, I urge you to use your address to the COP28 climate summit to champion the need for the truth about the climate crisis to be told fully. I urge you to demand that governments, the fossil fuel industry and its funders act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I urge you to advocate for a different form of decision making, so that it is taken out of the hands of those who have financial and political interests tied to the fossil fuel industry.

We find it difficult to imagine a different future, from the one that seems an inevitable continuance of what we have, but with our God-given gifts of creativity, intelligence, and foresight, along with mercy, compassion, love, hope, and truth, we can imagine and bring into being a future which is fair and just for all, and which cares for the Earth rather than exploits it. 

We are at the 28th COP, but the pledges made at the previous 27 have not been adhered to. We won’t have another 27 chances to get this right – we are at code red now. We have waited too long to see the necessary actions; we must act now.

I write also on behalf of my fellow Green Christian Co-Chair, George Dow, and Barbara Echlin, Vice Chair.

Yours most sincerely and respectfully,

Deborah Tomkins
Co-Chair Green Christian



Author: Ruth Jarman | Date: 24 November, 2023 | Category: Climate Emergency | Comments: 3

Comments on "We write to the King"

Sue Charlton:

December 3, 2023

Thank you Deborah. So good to hear the King speaking powerfully on these topics and the Pope's words yesterday too.

Helena Jean Ibbotson:

November 27, 2023

Excellent! Will be praying fir Charles to respond and act.


November 25, 2023

Well written, Deborah. Let's pray that Charles speaks truth and makes an impact.

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